My own gun ownership -- a .22 caliber target pistol in the late 1970s -- was symptomatic of a then-loose screw.

The Second Amendment is unique in the right's apparently being contingent on the necessity of a "well regulated militia," and in being so object-specific. Swords and flintlock rifles. The arms we may bear preceded even Eli Whitney's mass production.

The argument I've heard most frequently for preserving private arsenals has more to do with fear of government than supporting it as part of a militia. In fact, in an interview with Talk of the nation's Neal Conan, More Guns Less Crime author John Lott said that Columbine High School shooter Dylan Klebold had written to his state representative objecting to proposed anti-gun legislation, and that the law went into effect on the day of the shootings.

I'm sure Conan had to restrain himself from asking if that were a threat.

Be all that as it may, the current clamor for gun control seems mistaken:

Everybody has guns. When I was a Minneapolis energy auditor, poking around in people's houses to save heat. I saw many guns.

Among friends, I know three machine guns, and they aren't going anywhere. Their owners, Vietnam-era vets, will hide them and vote Tea Party. That's unfortunate because one of them, at least, is a sensible and humane guy, and you don't have to dig very far to see it.

We're looking at some nasty weather. I believe that dealing with the limits to growth will require some restrictions on personal liberty, and I don't want to alienate anybody who can help. Let them keep their well oiled security blankets.

More immediately, we might be able to keep guns out of the hands of the nation's Adam Lanzas, but I'm betting that mass shootings will continue at a rate of about twenty a year. Whatever goads somebody to put innocent strangers to death -- children for pete'ssake --  will remain, and gun-control nuts will be disappointed. It ain't gonna be easy, but if we want to stop violent grandstanding, we'll need to go deeper.